Update: Because people are asking this in the comments thread below: The DVD of the opening ceremony is now for sale…can be ordered here.…

Update: Because people are asking this in the comments thread below: The DVD of the opening ceremony is now for sale…can be ordered here.

Original post: NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) is touting its TV and online numbers from day one, Friday, at the Beijing Olympics, but at least online the numbers ring hollow. On TV, it was the best overnight rating ever for non-U.S. Olympic Opening Ceremony earning a 21.5/37 (8-11:19 p.m. ET/PT), the company says, surpassing Sydney Olympics in 2000. This after a 12-hour and 15-hour tape delay on East and West coast respectively.

On the online side, where the Opening Ceremony was nowhere to be found until this morning, it had 70 million page views Friday, 10 times more than the seven million page views on the opening day of the Athens Games, though it was probably more people trying to desperately find some video of the ceremony than anything else. Even this morning, the site has highlights of the ceremony, not the full broadcast. It probably would have made sense to put the full first part of the ceremony–before the parade of nations–online.

Anyway, some other online numbers:
— The 70 million page views are nearly 50 million more page views than the peak day in Athens (Day 4, 20.6 million).
— NBCOlympics.com’s 4.2 million unique users show an increase of 496 percent over the unique users for the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (705,000).
— Since August 1, 2008, NBCOlympics.com has accumulated more than 127 million page views, nearly half the total for the entire Athens Games.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the Badminton coverage online.

Across the pond, for BBC, which doesn’t have to go through these contortions to protect its TV rights, about 700,000 watched the first day of the games live on its website, through the video stream.

Update: NBC says all of the opening is up now but in segments. Here are the three key videos we could find: Sights and Sounds (52 minutes); Parade of Athletes (1hour, 37 minutes); Cauldron Lighting (12:51).

Pic courtesy: Kathy Zhuang.

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  1. Joseph Weisenthal Sunday, August 10, 2008

    So is the Opening Ceremony never going to be online? I missed the whole thing the first time and didn't DVR it. Will be annoyed if it's gone forever. Guess there's always the Closing.

  2. Staci D. Kramer Sunday, August 10, 2008

    NBC needs to do a much better job of making this available chronologically but most of the opening is up now in large chunks. I'll add the links to the post.

  3. Since I was not able to watch the Opening Ceremony, there is a way that we can get a DVD and at what price? I missed a once in our life time event.

  4. Arlene Clewell Friday, August 15, 2008

    I would like to know if we can buy a DVD of the opening ceremony. I watched most of it, but missed the ending. It was a beautiful ceremony and it would be wonderful to have it on a DD,

  5. Patricia Richey Friday, August 15, 2008

    Where can the opening ceremony be purchased?

  6. Maurice J. Zarmati Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Where can the opening ceremony be purchased

  7. juanita duncan Saturday, August 16, 2008

    i am looking to buy the opening ceremony cd please let me know where and how much

  8. because of the time zone, i missed the olympics US basketball competitions. it would be nice if the games could be purchase on DVD. it would be nice if all of US competition was available on DVD. can you make it possible?

  9. Patricia Cvercsek Saturday, August 16, 2008

    I'm really upset that it won't be possible to purchase a DVD of the opening Day of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I saw the whole thing and it was the most magnificent thing I have ever seen in my life. I would love to have a DVD of it to pass down to my Grandchildren. There will (in my opinion) never be anything to top this again in my lifetime. With or without the fireworks, nothing can top the precision of the Chinese people and the work and dedication they put into everything. My compliments to all of them. My best wishes to all the Olympians and all their hard work.

  10. Please give us the information on getting a CD of the whole opening ceremony, this should have been automatically offered. Let me know the price for it when and if it is going to be offered or have to put it together myself.
    Thanks for your attention to this matter.

    Carl T.

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